By the time Fred let me know that he didn’t want any more children, I was in love with him and we were planning to get married. That left me with a difficult choice: stay with the man I loved or leave him in the hope I would find someone else who wanted children. I chose Fred.
It’s a terrible choice to have to make. I interviewed another woman last week who found herself in a similar predicament except that they were already married. At first, neither she nor her husband had much interest in having children. However, she gradually changed her mind. He didn’t. In fact, when she confessed her desire for babies, he stood firm, telling her that if she couldn’t live without being a mother, she would have to find someone else. She chose to stay with her husband. Not having children causes her great pain, but she’s certain she made the right decision.
Another woman told me she had left her home in another country to be with the man she loved. Only after she had said goodbye to home, family and job did he inform her that the daughter he had from a previous marriage was all the children he wanted. When I talked to her, she was still trying to decide what to do, knowing she was running out of time if she wanted to conceive a child.
Every woman I know who is childless by marriage has heard the suggestion that she forget her birth control accidentally on purpose and get pregnant. Once that happened, he would come around. But we all know that’s not necessarily true. Besides, how could you trick someone you love on a matter that is so important?
Women are not the only ones in this predicament. Sometimes it’s the man who wants children and finds that his wife/partner does not. So how do you decide? What do you think? Is it worth dropping an otherwise wonderful partner to look for someone who is willing to have children?